You’ve got a new product that you want to roll out to the American public. It’s hugely important, and hugely controversial.
You’re trying to appeal to young people. You want them to sign up for your product. You know that their participation is crucial if you want your product to be a success.
You also know that most of the people in your target demographic are tech-savvy folks. If they are going to sign up, they are going to do so through a website. After all, it’s how they buy music, and concert tickets, and other things that they want. If your new venture is going to be successful, it’s essential that you have a website that is user-friendly.
So, who do you select to manage and supervise your roll out and website development? A computer geek who has developed successful, accessible websites for google, Amazon, and other lucrative internet businesses? A tech wizard who is intimately familiar with cutting-edge technology and user interface concepts?
Or, the ex-governor of Kansas?
Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!
Tonight we’re in Michigan, visiting Russell at Cranbrook. We had dinner at Churchill’s in downtown Birmingham, a throwback place where everyone, Russell and me included, was smoking a stogie and enjoying our dinner. The Birmingham downtown area is enlivened by the beautiful facade of the Birmingham Uptown theater — which demonstrates just how much a fantastic, colorful neon sign can add to a nighttime area. Let the weekend begin!
Kasey, Penny and I were at the edge of North of Woods at the beginning of our morning walk when my attention was drawn by sudden movement up ahead. What the? What appeared to be a dog loped into view and stood in a neighbor’s front yard, dimly visible in the moonlight. Penny and Kasey both began straining at their leashes. I waited, thinking the dog’s owner would come walking up behind — but no owner came. The dog was off the leash and on its own.
My heart began pounding and my mind began churning. Could it be a coyote? No, too big. It was some kind of large dog that looked like a very skinny German or Belgian Shepherd, with upright ears and the familiar Shepherd head. Although Kasey barked, the dog didn’t, and I remember the Philosopher King of the Fifth Floor saying once that the dogs that bite try to come upon you silently. Could it be a stray that might attack, or even a rabid dog? If so, what should I do? I braced myself and considered the options.
I decided that standing still and holding back the dogs was the best option. Pose no apparent threat, make no movement that might be misinterpreted, and let the dog make the first move. After a few moments the dog began moving back and forth, then darted around us and disappeared into the darkness. We moved forward, but every one of my civilization-dulled hunter-gatherer senses stayed on high alert to detect the dog’s return.
After we completed the Yantis Loop we returned to our North of Woods neighborhood, near the place of the dog’s sudden appearance, and my adrenalin surged again. I scanned the darkened streets and held my breath as we passed through deep shadow, hoping that the dog would not lunge out at us from a hiding place in the gloom. It didn’t. Fortunately, the dog was gone.
It turned out to be a small incident among countless uneventful early morning walks, but it was a jolt nevertheless. It felt good to close the front door behind us.